Jamie Kuntz says a kiss from his much-older boyfriend at his first game led the freshman linebacker to be released from his college football team.
North Dakota State College of Sciences in Wahpeton acknowledges Kuntz was disciplined by the team, but says it wasn't because he is homosexual.
Football coach Chuck Parsons denies kicking the gay football player off the team because he's gay, but says it was for lying to him about the kiss.
In any case, Kuntz, 18, and on a partial football scholarship, left the college in southeast North Dakota this month after his dismissal from the team.
"Football didn't work out, so there was no reason to stay," said Kuntz.
Kuntz said that he and his 65-year-old boyfriend were in the press box at the game against Snow College in Pueblo, Colo., over Labor Day weekend.
Sidelined by a minor concussion, he was videotaping the game for the team. His Wildcats were down by 40+ points when "the kiss just happened."
The team would eventually lose 63-17.
"People around here aren't exposed to it," Kuntz said of the fact that he is a gay man. "People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players."
A teammate apparently saw the kiss and told coaches, Kuntz said, and Parsons confronted him; Kuntz told him the man was his grandfather."I lied," Kuntz said, but later felt guilty and came clean.
In a September 3 dismissal letter, Parsons specifically noted the school manual's section on "lying to coaches, teachers or other school staff."
"This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game; and because you chose not to be truthful with me when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you," his now-former head coach wrote.
"Any conduct by any member of the program that would cause such a distraction during a game would warrant the same consequences."
Kuntz doesn't believe he was dismissed for lying, though.
"I know if it was a girl in the press box, or even an older woman, nothing would have happened," he said. "If it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates."